Treadmill raises funds for tsunami relief

On Saturday (May 7), Langley resident Masami Yakata and friend Sara Jones will begin a marathon walk to raise funds for victims of the Japanese tsunami.

They won’t be going outdoors. The two women plan to take turns on a treadmill at Fitness Unlimited at 20501 Logan Avenue from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

In addition to accepting donations, the gym will be donating all the $15 drop-in fees that day.

All the money will go to the Japanese Red Cross.

Yakata, who grew up in Japan, spent many tense hours trying to contact family and friends after the 9.0 magnitude quake on March 11 sent 10-metre tall waves as far as 10 kilometres inland, wiping out entire communities and killing thousands.

In an interview with The Times a few days after the event, Yakata expressed shock and horror and urged her fellow Langley residents to donate to the Red Cross.

“I’m heartbroken,” she said.

She came to Canada not long after the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan that killed more than 6,000 people.

“I did this before ... to look for friends when Kobe got hit and I never thought I would have to look for friends a second time in my life,” she said.

The Sendai earthquake is the strongest known tremor to ever hit Japan and one of the the five strongest earthquakes recorded anywhere since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

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